Wooster Rolls Past Kenyon, 51-13; Strausbaugh Now Program's Leader in Receiving Yards

Damien Sausville
Damien Sausville
Nick Strausbaugh
Nick Strausbaugh

GAMBIER, Ohio – Senior Nick Strausbaugh surpassed former great Brandon Good's career receiving yards record, and The College of Wooster held Kenyon College to 149 yards of offense during Saturday's 51-13 win at McBride Field.

In the second quarter, Strausbaugh weaved and dodged his way through Kenyon's (3-4, 2-4 North Coast Athletic Conference) defense on a third-and-22 play, and he moved the chains with a 27-yard reception. That brought the three-year standout's career yardage log to 2,837, one shy of Good's. Strausbaugh didn't stay behind Good much longer, as two plays later, sophomore Mateo Renteria went right back to the communication studies major, and Strausbaugh bullied his way through the Lords for 22 more yards.

Strausbaugh pulled within a touchdown of matching Good's career touchdown receptions mark with 14:19 left in the second quarter. Renteria lofted a jump ball into the corner of the end zone, and it was Strausbaugh coming down with the eight-yard reception that made it 23-0.

Wooster (4-3, 3-3 NCAC) came away with takeaways on two of Kenyon's first three offensive plays. First, junior Beau Greenwood stepped in front of a Thomas Merkle pass at Wooster's 20-yard line, and that marked the Scots' fourth interception on the opponent's opening drive in the last five games. Next, Jack Provenza dropped a handoff exchange on a rainy day, and freshman Korey Simmons fell on the pigskin on the Lords' 28-yard line.

In between takeaways, sophomore Cole Hissong's concentration led to the first of his two touchdowns on the day. On the first, Renteria spun away from pressure on a third-and-4 play, deposited a throw to Hissong, who initially bobbled the catch, before securing and extending to the pylon. Two drives later, Renteria rolled to his right, and that gave Hissong enough time to beat his man, and the sophomores connected on a 50-yard touchdown strike.

Kenyon didn't get much headway offensively throughout the game, as the Lords didn't pick up a first down until 6:03 remained on the second quarter clock. The Lords snapped off nine plays in the first quarter and only had two yards to show for it. Wooster junior Kobe Matesic played a big part in limiting the early yards, as the defensive tackle erased nine net yards when he dumped Merkle for a sack late in the first quarter.

The Lords scored their first points of the day with 3:16 remaining in the second quarter. Justin Bosch reeled in a five-yard Merkle pass just inside the back line of the end zone, and that cut Wooster's lead to 27-7.

Wooster's third takeaway of the day came with :54 left in the second quarter. Freshman Justin Richburg-Wade recovered a muffed punt, which set the Scots up at the Lords' 21-yard line. Freshman Lake Barrett upped the lead to 30-7 with :28 left, thanks to a 32-yard field goal. The rookie had the steady leg in the first half, with field goals of 32 and 20 yards earlier in the stanza.

The Lords pulled within 30-13 on Ryan Mott's 50-yard pick-six, but Wooster answered back on its first offensive play. Sophomore Troy Baughman scored on a 75-yard run, and it was Hissong's block that sprung him free.

Freshman Sharif McGee and sophomore Chase Flanagan each scored from a yard out in the fourth quarter, while junior Cam Pollard had a memorable return to the defensive side of the ball. Pollard, who started the year as a slot receiver, moved back to the defensive side this week, and logged an interception in the fourth quarter.

Renteria completed 19-of-31 passes on the afternoon. He accumulated 287 yards and three touchdown passes. Strausbaugh led the way among the receivers with seven receptions for 116 yards, and he now has 2,872 yards for his career. Hissong covered 94 stripes on his four receptions. Baughman erupted for a career-high 141 yards on 20 carries, and Wooster's 260 rushing yards marked the most since the Scots went for 300 versus Kenyon on October 29, 2016.

Sophomore Angelo Petracci paced Wooster with six tackles, while junior Mark Herron tallied four solo stops.

Merkle, who had monster games against Wooster as a freshman and sophomore, was kept in check all afternoon. He finished 10-of-25 for 113 yards and was picked twice. Andris Balodis was the bright spot for Kenyon with five receptions for 79 yards.

Mott's nine tackles marked the co-game-high.

Of note, Wooster's 149 yards allowed marked the fewest since Wittenberg University recorded 131 in the 2008 season finale.

Next, Wooster's back home one final time for a 1 p.m. game against Ohio Wesleyan University (6-1, 5-1 NCAC) on Saturday, November 2.